Author Topic: More articles about the Diamond Ranch Academy Lawsuit  (Read 5966 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Oscar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1650
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
    • Secret Prisons for Teens
More articles about the Diamond Ranch Academy Lawsuit
« on: July 29, 2017, 03:16:16 AM »
Quote from: Salt Lake Tribune
Diamond Ranch Academy is sued after a therapist is accused of sexually abusing teen student
By TIFFANY FRANDSEN, The Salt Lake Tribune,  July 28 - 2017
An Arkansas couple on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Utah against a Hurricane ranch for troubled teens, alleging that a therapist sexually assaulted their then-16-year-old daughter last year.

A therapist employed by Diamond Ranch Academy touched the teenager inappropriately, asked her for details about her sexual interests and told her about his sex life in April and May of 2016, according to the lawsuit filed in 5th District Court. The teenager enrolled in the academy and lived on the campus from March to October 2016, according to the suit.

Diamond Ranch declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Students are "assigned an individual therapist" to attend to their behavioral development, according to the school's website. The defendant was assigned to be her mental health counselor and therapist in April, less than two months after he received his license, the suit states. When hired, the therapist signed an agreement to not touch students.

In addition to the alleged inappropriate touching and conversation, the defendant disparaged the teen's relationship with her parents, described dreams he had about her, gave her massages and told her he had a crush on her, the lawsuit states.

Therapists at the academy are allowed to put paper over the windows in their offices for patient privacy, creating, the lawsuit alleges, "a perfect environment in which sexual grooming and sexual abuse could occur."

A different female student accused the therapist of "inappropriate physical contact" in May, and he was fired. After hearing about the abuse of her fellow student, the teenager told an academy staff member about her story of abuse, the suit says, but the employee didn't report it to law enforcement.

The lawsuit alleges that the teenager was told by a staff member to renege her story and tell law enforcement that she had lied about the abuse.

The teen remained at the school until October.

Communication with her parents was limited while the girl attended Diamond Ranch Academy, the lawsuit states. Students are allowed to talk to their family once a week, during a session supervised by a therapist. If a student has something negative to say about the academy, he or she would have to say it in the presence of a therapist, the lawsuit stated. Students can write letters and emails, but those are routed through the academy. In-person visits are awarded to students, but they are limited.

The parents request in the lawsuit that the academy post on its home page the names of anyone associated with the ranch — past or present — who is a known sexual abuser or offender. They asked for the academy to pay for two years' worth of mental health treatment for anyone sexually abused by an employee of the academy. The parents also want the academy to fund independent workshops that detail anything that allowed sexual assault at the academy, what has been done to prevent future abuse and ways to protect children from sexual predators.

The parents also have requested that a task force be formed to investigate and monitor the academy.

The Salt Lake Tribune is not releasing the name of the teenager because she is a minor. The Tribune is not naming the defendant because he has not been charged.

Quote from: The Spectrum
Sexual assault lawsuit filed against Diamond Ranch Academy
by Bree Burkitt, The Spectrum, July 28 - 2017

A former Diamond Ranch Academy student filed a lawsuit against the therapeutic boarding school alleging a therapist sexually groomed and assaulted the minor.

According to the 23-page lawsuit filed in the 5th District Court on July 25, Hannah Wilkin, who has chosen to identify herself in court documents, and her parents are suing Diamond Ranch Academy and former mental health therapist Troy Ammon Carter. The Arkansas resident is no longer attending the residential treatment center.

The lawsuit alleges the incidents occurred multiple times in April and May of 2016. The secluded treatment facility caters to “troubled teens,” according to their website. 

According to court documents, the newly-licensed therapist intern assigned to provide counseling services to the 16-year-old victim used his “position of power and authority” to prey on Wilkin. Carter allegedly told the minor details about his sex life, questioned her about her own sexual history and made inappropriate comments about her physical appearance. Additionally, the complaint also states he straddled Wilkin and unhooked her bra while providing a back massage in his office without a chiropractic license.

More: Cedar City man charged with fondling three children pleads guilty

During a police interview, Wilkin told investigators Carter would attempt to disparage her parents in attempt to gain her trust and detail inappropriate dreams he had about the minor.

The windows of his counseling office were covered with brown butcher paper, Wilkin's attorney, Craig Vernon, said.

“He used the paper to cover up the windows to literally cover up the sexual assaults while they were happening,” Vernon told The Spectrum & Daily News. “It’s very curious to me that would go unnoticed.”

Carter was terminated in May 2016 for inappropriate physical contact with another student. Wilkin came forward shortly after.

Prior to the alleged incidents, DRA required Carter to sign a document pledging he would stop all physical contact with his patients, the complaint details. He had previously been reprimanded for inappropriate contact with multiple male students.

The lawsuit claims the treatment center provided the "perfect environment" for victims to be groomed and sexually abused due to inadequate supervision and internal policies. It also alleges her complaints about Carter were not properly forwarded to law enforcement.

More: Report: 'quiet' recreation brought $17.4 million to Cedar City area

“DRA had already reprimanded Carter for inappropriately touching students, but did nothing to protect these vulnerable girls, who were isolated and far away from their families,” Vernon said.

Diamond Ranch Academy did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Vernon said two other victims have since come forward with similar allegations against Carter.

Following an investigation by the Hurricane Police Department, the Washington County Attorney’s Office ultimately declined to file any charges due to a lack of sufficient evidence. It is not known whether the three other alleged victims intend to file a criminal complaint at this time.

Wilkin opted to identify herself in the suit to show other victims they are not alone.

“I just don’t want what happened to me to happen to other kids,” she said. “We enroll at DRA to get help with the problems life throws at us, not to get molested by the counselor DRA assigns to us.”

Ultimately, Vernon said the Wilkin family are seeking the $6,000-$12,000 per month tuition in addition to compensation for the victim.

More: Stewart’s ‘Northern Corridor’ bill clears hurdle

“Money is symbolic of both Carter and the DRA accepting responsibility for what happened,” he explained.

Diamond Ranch Academy was also under scrutiny in 2015 when a teacher was arrested for possessing hundreds of images depicting child pornography on a personal cellphone and a computer at the school. Chad Huntsman and his wife, who also worked at DRA, were both terminated following the arrest. Huntsman was sentenced to 22.5 years in federal prison in February, while the charges against his wife were dismissed due to a lack of intent. 

 Follow reporter Bree Burkitt, @BreeBurkitt. Call her at 435-218-2241.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 03:24:43 AM by Oscar »

Offline Che Gookin

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 4241
  • Karma: +11/-3
    • View Profile
Re: More articles about the Diamond Ranch Academy Lawsuit
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 10:21:29 PM »
That's just fucking gross.

Offline Oscar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1650
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
    • Secret Prisons for Teens
Runway case
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 06:04:09 AM »
Quote from: The Spectrum
Mother angry over S. Utah treatment center's response after son runs away, David DeMille, March 23-2018

A California woman is furious at a St. George-area youth treatment center and law-enforcement agencies after she spent three days searching for her 16-year-old son.

Bobby Frace, who takes medication for autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder and other conditions, ran away with another teen from the Lava Heights residential treatment center in Toquerville on Sunday. Frace was not located until Thursday morning, when the boys were spotted by a patrol trooper in Arizona as they walked south along Interstate 15 toward Mesquite. The other boy was not identified.

Mother: 'They weren't going to do anything'

In the three intervening days, staffers at the Lava Heights Academy did not file a missing-person report, nor did they ask area law enforcement to publicize the boys’ disappearance or circulate photographs to solicit help from the public in finding them, Brenda Frace-Folk, the boy's mother, told The Spectrum & Daily News.

“They weren't going to do anything,” said Frace-Folk, who lives in Mendocino County, California.

A person answering the phone for the treatment center Wednesday said she was unauthorized to comment on the situation and would refer the request to another person, but no return call was made. Requests for comment at the center's parent company, CARE Youth Corporation, were not returned.

Frace-Folk and two other family members drove to Utah on Monday, but ended up driving around the St. George area trying to conduct a search on their own, she said.

The boys were picked up a little after 6:30 a.m. Thursday, having apparently spent the night out in the cold, Frace-Folk said. She said they reported stealing food from a grocery store and stopping at restaurants to get water.

At one point, they started a fire near a St. George trail, and hid on a hillside when police arrived to check on the smoke.

"It's just crazy," Frace-Folk said.

Frace-Folk said she never received a good explanation for why the boys' disappearance wasn't publicized in an effort to find them.

"They said they didn't want it out in the media because the media never helped find one person," she said, adding the decision may have kept the boys from being found earlier because they had been in so many public places.

Because Lava Heights had been granted temporary custody of the boys, it was up to someone at the treatment center to decide, said Deputy Graham Hancock of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Frace-Folk said she has since regained custody of her son and is moving him to a treatment center in another state.

Utah’s residential treatment centers

Frace-Folk said she started looking at residential treatment centers for her son at the recommendation of a counselor in California, and picked Lava Heights because it was advertised as having an arts-focused curriculum.

“Bobby likes to dance, so we thought that would be perfect,” Frace-Folk said.

Clouds gather above the Black Ridge north of Toquerville, home to Lava Heights Academy.Buy Photo
Clouds gather above the Black Ridge north of Toquerville, home to Lava Heights Academy. (Photo: Brian Passey / The Spectrum, Brian Passey / The Spectrum)

Utah has nearly 200 licensed residential treatment centers, including 23 in Washington County. Most, like Lava Heights, are geared toward youths. The centers often incorporate the surrounding public lands into counseling programs that involve time in nature. They benefit from the state’s family-friendly reputation and relatively inexpensive startup costs.

They are also enormously lucrative, with tuition sometimes running up to $30,000 for live-in treatment. A survey of 59 such programs across Utah found they were responsible for more than 6,400 jobs and generated $423 million in gross domestic product and $22 million in state and local tax revenues in 2015, according to research by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

In 2005, Utah passed a bill, sponsored by Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane, requiring that facilities be licensed by the state and that they agree to random annual inspections and follow state rules.

Programs must have one staff member for every four students and must meet requirements for living space, food services, daily activity and counseling and medical help.

Troubled teens, troubled history

The programs sometimes face problems, though. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed over the years by families of teens who alleged various forms of abuse. A number of “survivor” websites and social-media networks have emerged where former residents and their family members post allegations.

Last year, a former student at the Diamond Ranch Academy in Hurricane filed a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse during her 2016 stay at the school as a 16-year-old. The suit implicated an employee named Troy Ammon Carter, who had already been terminated at the school for inappropriate physical contact with another student. The suit has since been settled.

Diamond Ranch Academy was also under scrutiny in 2015 when teacher Chad Huntsman was accused of possessing hundreds of images depicting child pornography on a personal cellphone. Huntsman was fired following the arrest.

In 2015, a former employee of the Red Rock Canyon School in St. George was charged with providing marijuana to a teen at the facility while he was a member of its staff.

Offline Matt C. Hoffman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 363
  • Karma: +8/-1
    • View Profile
Re: More articles about the Diamond Ranch Academy Lawsuit
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 09:05:10 AM »
I wonder why-  this  article- at the bottom under the heading  Troubled Teens Troubled  History - left out the known suicides that have occurred at Diamond Ranch Academy.  Curious and odd  don't you think?  that reflects  a danger  as well as  the fact they hire anyone  apparently criminals to work worth children.

When the meadia reports on certain "programs" found in  this insidious industry they leave out parts for example  - the  fact of these suicides   is  important in the telling of the Diamond Ranch Academy's Legacy.

I mean if you are going to lay out the fact that Diamond Ranch hires criminals  of the worst kind to work with children - aren't the  suicides as  important and part of this story since it is part of the trouble history of Diamond Ranch  Academy .

The media tells only part of the story - This has got to change in regards to the zietgiest of the TTI.